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Commemorating PeterlooViolence, Resilience, and Claim-making during the Romantic Era$
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Michael Demson and Regina Hewitt

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474428569

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428569.001.0001

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The Church and Peterloo

The Church and Peterloo

(p.205) Chapter 9 The Church and Peterloo
Commemorating Peterloo

John Gardner

Edinburgh University Press

This Chapter examines the involvement of Clerical Magistrates, William Hay and Charles Wicksted Ethelston, in the Peterloo Massacre. It finds a public consciousness, evidenced in newspapers, squibs, poems and illustrations that members of the Church acted for the Government against political reform. Contemporary texts also show suspicion that religious leaders acted as spies. This chapter provides concrete evidence from the National Archives. Mistrust of church figures increased after Peterloo, leading to publications focussing on church vice, corruption, and hypocrisy on issues like homosexuality with the Archbishop of Clogher scandal. After the post-Peterloo Six Acts, the Church provided a soft underbelly for continuing radicalism against the State.

Keywords:   Church, Peterloo, Home-Office, spy, magistrates, radicalism, Hay, William, Ethelston, Charles Wicksted, Archbishop of Clogher Scandal, homosexuality

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